Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Troubled World

Seekers of Peace,

This is something we don't really see in our world, but I look at most years, or rather I read the transcript of Vladimir Putin's year-end press conference and watch a little bit, to see how he looks. He looks good, at ease, in command of the facts, conversant with all that he is asked. The conference is 4 hours and 20 minutes. It's a really long transcript, yet it was worth the read to me. Where is another political leader like this? He comports himself as a public servant. His knowledge and humility are hard for me to describe. I come up short. He is an important human for this historical epoch, I believe.

Proof That America's "Deep State" Exists and Controls the Government, Eric Zuesse  (lots here, poor organization)
​ ​As everyone knows who has been closely following the most-reliable evidence regarding the question of how DNC emails had been copied and supplied to Wikileaks, there has been much credible, soundly-sourced, speculation that the DNC employee Seth Rich had physically copied the data from a computer there onto a thumb drive (or “USB stick”), which then was picked up in the U.S. by a Wikileaks agent, who physically delivered it to Julian Assange at London’s Ecuadorean Embassy. The great independent investigative journalist (virtually barred since 2007 from being published in the U.S. anymore), Seymour Hersh, personally investigated the records of the murder of Seth Rich, both at the Washington DC police and at the FBI, and this is from the transcript I had made of his statement in a Web-posted phone-call​.

Gladio, The Story of a Conspiracy  Thanks Dan.
​ ​When in the early 1970s an Italian right-wing journalist told me about a secret army training in Italy’s mountains, I scoffed at first thinking he was repeating a rumor picked up from some scoop-obsessed reporter. But my tune began changing when he gave it a name—“Stay Behind Army”—and explained it was a secret army to fight the Soviet armies which someday soon would invade West Europe. He gave me the name of a member of that secret army who would talk with me... 
​ ​Years later, in the late 1980s or early 90s, it happened by chance that I met in a Rome hotel bar an American who knew details about that secret army. I was sitting on a stool at the bar of the luxurious Grand Hotel waiting for an appointment with a well-known writer when the man sat down on the stool next to me. I recognized William Colby from pictures of him in the press announcing the presence in Rome for a conference of the former Director of the CIA. I nodded, said hello, and we chatted bar talk until the chat turned into a short interview, which I subsequently published in the European press. I told him I knew who he was, and as we spoke I asked him point-blank about the mysterious Stay-Behind Army.
​ ​To my surprise Colby almost boasted that the covert action branch of the CIA to which he was attached in the 1950s built throughout Western Europe what in intelligence trade parlance were known as ‘Stay-Behind Nets’, in Italy known as Gladio, the headquarters of which was in Rome. In that post-war period Colby was a young intelligence officer assigned to the CIA station in the US Rome Embassy. Officially the network was clandestine, he related, ready to be called into action as sabotage forces when the time came, confirming the few words of those two young Romans of years earlier. Colby said that in 1951 the chief of the CIA in West Europe sent him to the field to help build the Stay-Behind network. ‘Our aim was the creation of an Italian nationalism capable of halting the slide to the left,’ he said, as if speaking of ancient Greek history.

The Real Revolution In Military Affairs, Pepe Escobar gives the high points of the American military's complete vulnerability to Russian and Chinese hypersonic weapons, both at sea, and every American military base in the world. Mutual Assured Destruction has never been more robust.​ The most expensive military in the world can only kill, not protect.

​It's not the new normal. It's the new slavery.
Sanders Report Shows How Millennial Generation Is 'Being Punished With Crushing Student Debt and Low-Paying Jobs'
"In the richest country in the history of the world, we have an obligation to turn this around and make sure our kids live healthier and better lives than we do."

Child slaves reduce retail prices...
 There’s a chance that the iPhone you’re about to get for Christmas contains cobalt mined by a six-year-old. There’s also a chance that that six-year-old has been killed or maimed in the processes of mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the lion’s share of the world’s cobalt comes from.
​ ​Or, maybe, for those whose Christmas lists are more upscale, you’ll be driving around in a new Tesla next week, with a battery containing cobalt from that same mine.
​ ​Our luxuries are necessarily someone else’s sacrifice – and sometimes that sacrifice is the ultimate one.

"Byzantine"  It's hard to see exactly which objectives Turkey hopes to achieve in this very complex regional dance to dominate oil and gas wells and pipelines.
Turkey may now intervene directly in Libya's civil war after a military cooperation deal was ratified between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Al Sarraj.​..
Sputnik Comment:
 Turkish snipers and storm groups are fighting in the ranks of Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA) in the capital of Tripoli. The LNA units gain control over new positions in Tripoli daily.
"We saw Turkish soldiers fighting on the ground in the direction of Khallet al-Furjan in Tripoli among the GNA armed militias. We saw them with our own eyes... snipers and Turkish storming groups. The progress is slow but continuous."

​Human anguish as a weapon.​
​ ​At a moment Erdogan has his hands dirty in Syria and is preparing to get more militarily involved in Libya, Turkey's president has yet again threatened Europe with a refugee horde so large no country will be able to handle it. He's now specifically threatened Greece as being among the first to bear the brunt of the first waves of refugees unleashed by Turkey.
​ ​His threats are now centering on the major uptick in airstrikes by Russia and Syria on Idlib province, said to number in the "hundreds" since a new operation began on Dec.16. Since then, tens of thousands of civilians living under al-Qaeda's Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) have reportedly fled.
​ ​"Turkey cannot handle a fresh wave of migrants from Syria​"​, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, warning that ​"​European countries will feel the impact of such an influx if violence in Syria’s northwest is not stopped," Reuters reports.

​Acting Israeli PM, Netanyahu says the International Criminal Court has no standing to investigate Israeli war crimes in Palestine, because only countries can appeal to the ICC, and Israel doesn't recognize Palestine as a country.
The UN General Assembly does, but the General Assembly is just racist and anti-semitic and hates Israel's freedom and democracy.​

Don't forget how anti-semitic Jeremy Corbyn is. He supports Palestinian​s​. 
​ ​When is a war crime not a war crime? When, according to British officials, that war crime has been given a makeover as a “charitable act”.
​ ​The British state is being asked to account for its financial and moral support for a UK organisation accused of complicity in the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland. So far, it appears determined to evade answering those questions.
​ ​The target of the campaign is the Jewish National Fund UK (JNF UK), which describes itself as “Britain’s oldest Israel charity”. Noting its role in “building Israel for over a century”, the organisation boasts: “Every penny raised by JNF UK is sent to a project in Israel.”
​ ​In fact, donations to JNF UK were used to buy some of the 250 million trees planted across Israel since 1948, the year when 750,000 Palestinians were forced out at gunpoint from their homes by the new Israeli army. Those expulsions were an event Palestinians call their Nakba, or “catastrophe”.
​ ​Afterwards, the Israeli army laid waste to many hundreds of Palestinian villages, turning them into rubble. Forests planted over the villages were then promoted as efforts to “make the desert bloom”.

Gosh, what's this mean?  Obama was like the billionaires' and bankers' best friend ever. 
 While Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) spent most of her campaign railing against the donor class while refusing to accept large checks from Democratic bundlers, former President Obama has been privately talking up the 2020 candidate who formerly identified as a Native American.
 According to The Hill, Obama has advised reluctant donors to back the Massachusetts Democrat despite her plans to separate them from as much of their wealth as she can. If she becomes the nominee, according to Obama, donors will have no choice but to throw their support behind her.

More on Tulsi Gabbard's principled stance voting "present" at impeachment hearing, and then...
She also introduced a resolution calling on the House to censure Trump on five issues she implied were far more substantial. Those include carrying out wars without congressional approval, illegally “occupying and pillaging” Syria, “recklessly enabling” Turkey to invade Northern Syria and ethnically cleanse Kurds (a U.S. ally), continuing to support Saudi Arabia’s “genocidal war” in Yemen and scrapping nuclear agreements with Iran and Russia, thereby strongly increasing the risk of nuclear proliferation.  (but this is the stuff they ALL agree on​!​)

Only RT seemed to have a piece on Julian Assange testifying in Spanish trial of company that spied on him 24:7 in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, for the American deep-state. No "fair trial" in America is remotely possible. 

Trump Impeachment Slapstick Is A Diversion From Reality, Finian Cunningham 
(Thou shalt not upset the consumers minds with harsh reality during Christmas shopping season.)

Steve Mnuchin says $1.5 trillion in $100 bills are lying low, somewhere on earth and that's just the officially printed ones. (Paging CIA to white courtesy telephone) 

Mohamed El-Erian is worried about the "new normal" without economic growth, and thinks Europe is first in line at the chopping block. The whole interview is realistic, but targets very rich audience. Upshot is "dump risk now!"
What’s going on in the advanced world is structural. It’s about productivity and growth potential. If you run complex liberal democracies at low growth for a long time, things start to break. So as good as the «New Normal» was for the last ten years, I don’t think it will expand the next ten years. We’re going to see a tip, and in Europe we’re getting much closer to it: If Europe hits stall speed in 2020, which is a growth rate of below 1%, the chances of a recession are increasing. Yet, with better policies, Europe can also bounce back quite quickly. So Europe is really heading for this tipping point or T-junction. The same is true for China and the US. But Europe is most advanced in that process.  

​Pat Buchanan makes the point (from his value-perspective, but a valid point) that France is breaking politically and economically, and the US is steadily headed in that direction. It's basically El-Erian's concern, but from a political vantage. He offers no solution.​ (Do keep watching Rothschild-man Macron for clues of what not to do.The problem has not been worked yet, but it involves massive sharing of losses by the top echelons of the wealth pyramid: Demotions, Real investment of shared national-outcomes by trapped humans of all classes.)

​Don't try to interpret this study at home! 
It won't actually have a real, verified meaning until we have a medicine to sell you for a few thousand dollars per month, for the rest of your life.​ (I eat chilies 4 times a day, myself.)
​ ​For many years, chili has been hailed for its therapeutic properties, and now researchers have found that eating chili peppers regularly can cut the risk of death from heart disease and stroke.
​ ​Carried out in Italy, where chili is a common ingredient, the study compared the risk of death among 23,000 people, some of whom ate chili and some of whom didn't.
​ ​Participants' health status and eating habits were monitored over eight years, and researchers found that the risk of dying from a heart attack was 40% lower among those eating chili peppers at least four times per week.
Death from stroke was more than halved, according to results published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.  

​Ima Pepper​

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